Illustration shows examples of an Earth-Moon “transportation network,” a key architectural element for access throughout cislunar space.
Credit: Purdue University image/Kate Starr



Transforming cislunar space into an economic wellspring is in the sights of a new university-based initiative.

Purdue University’s Cislunar Initiative is geared to evaluating access to cislunar space, supplying the building blocks for infrastructure, identifying and utilizing space resources, advancing the development of space policy and providing critical educational opportunities.

The “cislunar region” is the orbital area encompassing the Earth and the Moon.

David Spencer, associate professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, leads the Cislunar Initiative.
Credit: Purdue University



50-year time horizon

Leader of the Initiative is David Spencer, associate professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “The Cislunar Initiative aims to conceive, design, and enable the utilization of cislunar space over a 50-year time horizon,” Spencer notes in a university statement.


Exploration of south pole crater. Water ice-rich resource ready for processing?
Credit: NASA




There are five objectives formulated to accelerate the development of a cislunar region’s economy, Spencer explains:

— Advancing access to space, enabling frequent and sustained transportation to and within the cislunar environment.

— Envisioning and enabling the infrastructure that provides the necessary support for cislunar space exploration and development through a strong university-industry-government collaborative approach.

— Identifying and utilizing space resources and materials.

— Leading in the areas of space policy, economics and space defense.

— Initiating K-12 educational programs and courses, professional development, internships, co-ops and a Purdue curriculum for the future leaders in cislunar development.


Go to the Cislunar Initiative website at:

Also, go to this informative video that focuses on the Initiative:


Leave a Reply